Thursday, December 06, 2012

JAB TAK HAI JAAN (2012) (Guest Review)



Guest Review- Arnab Goswami

JAB TAK HAI JAAN (2012) (Spoilers ahead)

A Yash Chopra brand of love triangle with a contemporary treatment.

AG Rating : to be revealed at the end of the review. (hehe...so read it !!)

The story opens with the 98th bomb defusal by Major Samar Anand (Shah Rukh Khan) who is widely known as 'The Man Who Cannot Die' in the bomb disposal squad fraternity.
Samar is a reserved, quiet and an angry man who fearlessly defuses bombs almost as if he is waiting for that 1 bomb which will blow him to bits and end his life.
He also maintains a diary, which falls into a certain young journalist Akira Rai's (Anushka Sharma) hands, through which we are transported right back to the year 2002 in London,
where we see a much younger Samar Anand as a struggler who does turns as a snow shoveler, a fish seller and also as a waiter.In a rather poetic way and a curious set of circumstances,
we see the gradual meeting of Samar and the daughter, Meera (Katrina Kaif), of a rich businessman (Anupam Kher), their growing friendship and their subsequent love.
Through an unfortunate series of circumstances and also in part due to Meera herself, Samar leaves the country never to return. 10 years later, he becomes 'The Man Who Cannot Die'!

Akira, on knowing his history, decides to film a documentary on him highlighting his daredevilry. A friendship ensues and sooner rather than later, Akira falls in love with him, despite
knowing everything about him. It becomes time for Akira to leave for London and as she leaves, Samar even starts slowly warming up to her and even goes to London when she calls
him there regarding the documentary.

Lightning rarely strikes twice but when it does, it does so terribly. Samar meets with the same unfortunate accident which had in the past led to his departure from London 10 years ago.
Through an unexpected twist of fate, Samar becomes trapped in a time warp via retrograde amnesia and it so happens that the last 10 years during which he was in the army has been erased from his memory completely.
He now thinks Meera has become his wife and calls for her. What happens now ??

Acting

SRK is the backbone of JTHJ. From beginning to end, he plays every part with the utmost conviction and this really shows on screen. As the joyful and carefree Samar to the broody and scrawly bearded Major Samar to the Samar recovering from retrograde amnesia, he
is extremely convincing and also, no one has made army officers look as good as SRK has done. In my opinion, though this is not his best, in the film however, he completely owns it.
And also, SRK has never looked this good on screen. Ever.
Katrina Kaif tried her best but sadly I couldnt envision Samar sacrificing his whole life for her.

Anushka Sharma was her trademark bubbly and cheerful self along with a very good performance overall though her role looked to me to be very unsatisfactory. If it wasnt for Yash Chopra, I dont think she would have done this film.

Music

Challa was the best song in the film in my opinion followed by Jiya Re and then Ishq Shava, Heer was brief but very good. Saans wasnt half as bad onscreen as off it. The best part about the songs is that they arent at all placed inappropriately or needlessly. They are very apt.

Direction

JTHJ shows how great a director Yash Chopra (RIP) truly was. Even with a flawed script, he creates a film that is picture perfect and poetic in every frame. From the 1st scene to the last, it is pure poetry on screen.
I have never seen London look this good on screen. The scene in which the young Samar is introduced was like a breath of fresh air to me with the way the snow had been captured.
The 1st half especially is extremely commendable. It literally flows along like poetry. Several scenes will leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat. The way he has envisioned the whole film is a concrete proof that this is his baby, albeit not a perfect one.

The Film

Only Yash Chopra can turn a flawed story like JTHJ into something that, somewhere, somehow manages to touch you. His skilful blending of the visuals and the background score leads to an experience that haunts you long after you have left the cinema hall.
The film is such that you will never be bored. Never. One has to understand that since this film is an old world romance in a contemporary setting, the key aspects of such a romance are unchanged, which explains why Meera does what she does. However, it may hurt the sentiments of a major religion though the chance of that is minor.

AG Rating : 80/100

The AG verdict : Despite a flawed storyline, Yash Chopra concotes an experience of a lifetime which manages to touch you (it did so for me), makes you laugh, makes you cry and haunts you long after you leave the hall !!
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